Billie Jean King

Billie Jean King

by / Comments Off on Billie Jean King / 77 View / June 9, 2015

Celebrity Speaker For Hire: Billie Jean King

Billie Jean King is one of the pioneers of gender equality. Not only is she the most celebrated female tennis player, but she is also a celebrated spokesperson for equal pay and equal rights. King broke with her conservative Methodist family’s ways to achieve her goals, while becoming an openly gay sports icon and activist.

Following her fame after claiming the world’s number one spot in women’s tennis, she turned to more pressing issues, those of equality. King lobbied for equal prize payouts for male and female players and in 1971 became the first female tennis player to top $100,000 in prize money in a year. She then coordinated the formation of the Women’s Tennis Association.

The landmark “Battle of the Sexes” match in 1973 led King to victory again, not only for herself but for all of the female population. In 1981, King’s homosexuality was revealed through an unfortunate lawsuit, but this transformed her into a LGBT activist for generations to come.

She continued to play professional tennis on and off until officially retiring in 1990.


  • All in all, during her professional tennis career, King walked away with winning 39 major singles, doubles and mixed-doubles championships, which include a record 20 wins at the Wimbledon competition
  • In 1972, she became the first woman to “Grand Slam”, winning the U.S. Open, Wimbledon and the French Open all in the same year.
  • King is a Tennis Hall of Fame member since 1987 and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • She is also an active board member of the Women’s Sports Foundation.

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